The Truth About Prescription Drug Abuse

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  • 8/8/2019 The Truth About Prescription Drug Abuse


    the truth aboutprescription drug abuse

  • 8/8/2019 The Truth About Prescription Drug Abuse


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    PrescriPtion Drug AbuseA serious Problem


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    PrescriPtion DrugsWhAt you Dont knoW

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    Prescription drugs that are taken for recreational use

    include the following major categories:1.Depessants: Often referred to as central nervoussystem (brain and spinal cord) depressants, these drugsslow brain function. They include sedatives (used to makea person calm and drowsy) and tranquilizers (intended toreduce tension or anxiety).

    2.Opioids and mopine deivatives:* Generally referredto as painkillers, these drugs contain opium or opium-likesubstances and are used to relieve pain.

    3.Stimuants: A class of drugs intended to increaseenergy and alertness but which also increase bloodpressure, heart rate and breathing.

    4.Antidepessants: Psychiatric drugs that are supposedto handle depression.

    * derivative: a chemical substance formed from a related substance.

    tyPes oF AbuseD PrescriPtion Drugs

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    s-m ff f l: Slow brain function Slowed pulse and breathing Lowered blood pressure Poor concentration Confusion Fatigue* Dizziness Slurred speech Fever Sluggishness Visual disturbances Dilated pupils Disorientation, lack of coordination Depression

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    bad a Rohypnol

    s a forget-me pill Mexican Valium R2 Roche roofies roofinol rope rophies


    rohypnol is a tranquilizer about 10 times more potent than

    Valium. The drug is available as a white or olive-green pill andis usually sold in the manufacturers bubble packaging. Users crushthe pills and snort the powder, sprinkle it on marijuana and smokeit, dissolve it in a drink or inject it.

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    ohypnol has been used tocommit sexual assaults because

    it renders the victim incapable ofresisting, giving it the reputation of adate-rape drug.

    Rohypnol users often describe itseffects as paralyzing. The effectsstart 20 to 30 minutes after taking

    the drug, peak within 2 hours andmay persist for 8 or even 12 hours.A person can be so incapacitated(made unable to act) they collapse.They lie on the floor, eyes open, ableto observe events but completelyunable to move. Afterwards,

    memory is impaired and theycannot recall any of whathappened.

    The person experiences lossof muscle control, confusion,drowsiness and amnesia.

    Rohypnol is sold in Europe and

    Latin America as a sleeping pill,but it is illegal in the UnitedStates.

    rohyPnol eFFects


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    oPioiDs AnD morPhine DerivAtivesopioids are drugs that act on the nervous system to relieve pain.Continued use and abuse can lead to physical dependence and

    withdrawal symptoms. They come in tablets, capsules or liquid.Some of the well-known brand and street names:

    Fiorional with Codeine Robitussin A-C

    Tylenol with Codeine Empirin with Codeine

    Captain Cody Cody

    Schoolboy Doors & Fours Pancakes & Syrup Loads

    Actiq Duragesic


    Apache China girl

    Dance fever Goodfella Murder 8

    Tangoand Cash

    China whit Friend Jackpot TNT

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    oPioiDs AnDmorPhine DerivAtives


    term eFFects

    Drowsiness Slowed

    breathing Constipation


    Nausea Coma

    Short-termeffects ofopioids andmorphine




    OxyContin Percodan

    Percocet Tylox




    Miss Emma Monkey White Stuff

    Oxy 80 Oxycat

    Hillbilly heroin Percs Perks

    Demmies Pain killer

    Juice Dillies

    bad a s a

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    continued use or abuse of opioids can result in physicaldependence and addiction. The body adapts to the presenceof the drug and withdrawal symptoms occur if use is reducedor stopped. These include restlessness, muscle and bone pain,insomnia, diarrhea, vomiting, and cold flashes, with goose bumps(cold turkey). Tolerance can also occur, meaning that long-term

    users must increase their doses to achieve the same high.

    For more information about the abuse of painkillers, see The Truth About Painkillersin this seriesof booklets.

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    stimulants, sometimescalled uppers,temporarily increasealertness and energy. Themost commonly used streetdrugs that fall into thiscategory are cocaine andamphetamines.

    Prescription stimulantscome in tablets or capsules.When abused, they areswallowed, injected in liquidform or crushed and snorted.

    Some of the well-knownbrand and street names:

    stimulAntsbad a Ritalin


    Biphetamine Dexedrine

    s a R-ball

    Skippy The smart drug Vitamin R JIF Kibbles and bits

    Speed Truck drivers Bennies Black beauties Crosses Hearts LA

    turnaround Uppers

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    stimulAntsshort-term eFFects

    stimulAntslong-term eFFects

    For more information about the abuse of prescription stimulants, the th abo rilin abe f kl.

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    AntiDePressAntsAnother category of prescriptiondrugs that are sometimes abused areantidepressants. These include Prozac, Paxil,Celexa, Zoloft, Effexor and Remeron. Thesecome in multicolored capsules and tablets.

    Studies have shown that the effects ofthese drugs can include:

    One study found that 14% of theyoung people taking an antidepressantbecame aggressive and even violent.One 12-year-old boy developed violentnightmares about killing his classmates, thenbeing shot himself. The dream continuedto feel very real after awakening, and for

    days he experienced dreams of killing thatseemed increasingly real. He became acutelysuicidal until the drug was stopped.


    Irritability Nervousness andanxiety

    Violent thoughtsand actions


    Suicidal thoughtsor suicide Tremors Hostility

    Sweating Irregular heartbeat Aggression Criminal behavior Confusion and

    incoherent thoughts Paranoia

    Hallucinations Psychosis Akathisia

    (a painful inneragitation; inabilityto sit still)

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    * dissociative anesthetic: a drug that distorts perception of sightand sound and produces feelings of detachment (dissociation)from the environment and self.



    etamine, categorized as a dissociativeanesthetic,* is used in powdered or

    liquid form as an anesthetic, usually onanimals. It can be injected, consumedin drinks, snorted, or added to joints orcigarettes. Ketamine was placed on the listof controlled substances in the US in 1999.

    Short- and long-term effects include

    increased heart rate and blood pressure,nausea, vomiting, numbness, depression,amnesia, hallucinations and potentiallyfatal respiratory problems. Ketamine userscan also develop cravings for the drug.At high doses, users experience an effectreferred to as K-Hole, an out of body

    or near-death experience.

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    Hyper-excitability Insomnia Lethargy

    Physicaldependence (withprolonged use)

    Dizziness Slurred speech

    Delusions Sweating High blood

    pressure Liver and brain


    Mixed with other drugs, cough syrup can alsocause central nervous system and heart problems.Combined with alcohol, it is particularly dangerous

    and can result in death.

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    In 2005, 4.4 million teenagers (aged12 to 17) in the US admitted to takingprescription painkillers, and 2.3 milliontook a prescription stimulant such as Ritalin.2.2 million abused over-the-counter drugs

    such as cough syrup. The average age forfirst-time users is now 13 to 14.

    cAuse oF DeAths









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    Depessants, opioids andantidepessants ae esponsibe fomoe ovedose deats (45%) tancocaine, eoin, metampetamine andampetamines (39%) combined. In teUnited States, te most deats used to taepace in inne cities in Afican-Ameicanneibooods, but te ave no beenovetaen b ite ua communities.Te same tend can be seen in te ates ofospitaization fo substance abuse and

    emeenc ospitaization fo ovedoses.Of te 1.4 miion du-eated emeenc

    oom admissions in 2005, 598,542 eeassociated it abuse of pamaceuticasaone o it ote dus.

    B suve, amost 50% of teens beieve

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    five times moe ie to usemaijuana, and teve to tenttimes moe ie to use ieasteet dus suc as eoin,Ecstas and cocaine tan teenso do not abuse pesciptiondus.

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    T T

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    Te Tut

    About Dus


    Drugs are essentially poisons. Theamount taken determines the effect.A small amount acts as a stimulant (speedsyou up). A greater amount acts as asedative (slows you down). An even larger

    amount poisons and can kill.This is true of any drug. Only the amountneeded to achieve the effect differs.

    But many drugs have another liability: theydirectly affect the mind. They can distortthe users perception of what is happeningaround him or her. As a result, the personsactions may be odd, irrational, inappropriateand even destructive.

    Drugs block off all sensations, the desirableones with the unwanted. So, while providingshort-term help in the relief of pain, theyalso wipe out ability and alertness andmuddy ones thinking.

    Medicines are drugs that are intended tospeed up or slow down or change somethingabout the way your body is working, to tryto make it work better. Sometimes they arenecessary. But they are still drugs: they actas stimulants or sedatives, and too muchcan kill you. So if you do not use medicines

    as they are supposed to be used, they can beas dangerous as illegal drugs.

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    Te ea anse is to ette facts and not to taedus in te fist pace.

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    People take drugs because they want tochange something in their lives.

    Here are some of the reasons youngpeople have given for taking drugs:

    To fit in

    To escape or relax

    To relieve boredom

    To seem grown up

    To rebel

    To experiment

    They think drugs are a solution. Buteventually, the drugs become the

    problem.Difficult as it may be to face onesproblems, the consequences of drug useare always worse than the problem oneis trying to solve with them. The realanswer is to get the facts and not totake drugs in the first place.

    why DO PEOPlE TAkE DrUgS?

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    Drug Scheduling, U.S. DrugEnforcement Administration

    Selected Prescription Drugswith Potential for Abuse,

    National Institute on Drug Abuse

    International Narcotics ControlBoard

    Office of Drug Control Policy

    Prescription Sedatives &Tranquilizers, Partnership fora Drug-Free America

    Statement by Leonard J.

    Paulozzi before Senate JudiciarySubcommittee on Crimes andDrugs, 12 March 2008

    Center for Substance AbuseResearch

    National Survey on Drug Useand Health 2007

    Suicidality, violence and maniacaused by SSRIs: A review and

    analysis, P. Breggin.

    Depressants, US Departmentof Health & Human Servicesand SAMHSAs NationalClearinghouse for Alcohol &Drug Information

    Prescription drugs a gateway

    for teen drug abuse, HoustonChronicle, 4 September 2008

    PHOTO CREDITS:Page 2, page 9: Stockxpert;page 15: Sweet Faux Pas;page 24: Wes Tarca.


    Millions of copies of booklets such asthis have been distributed to peoplearound the world in 22 languages. Asnew drugs appear on the streets and morinformation about their effects becomesknown, existing booklets are updated annew ones created.

    The booklets are published by theFoundation for a Drug-Free World, anonprofit public benefit organizationheadquartered in Los Angeles, California

    The Foundation provides educationalmaterials, advice and coordination for itsinternational drug prevention network.It works with youth, parents, educators,volunteer organizations and governmenagenciesanyone with an interest in

    helping people lead lives free from drugabuse.

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    Fo moe infomation o to obtain moe copiesof tis o ote booets in tis seies, contact:

    Foundation for a Drug-Free World

    1626 N. Wilcox Avenue, #1297

    Los Angeles, CA 90028 USA e-mail: [email protected]

    p: 1-888 no to drugs (1-888- 668-6378)


    This booklet is one in a series of publications that cover the facts about marijuana, alcohol,

    Ecstasy, cocaine, crack cocaine, crystal meth and methamphetamine, inhalants, heroin,

    LSD and prescription drug abuse. Armed with this information, the reader can make thedecision to live a drug-free life.

    2008 Foundation for a Drug-Free World. All Rights Reserved. The Foundation logo is a trademark owned by theFoundation for a Drug-Free World. Item #C6231 US-ENG